It is almost unbelievable how successful my post dealing with stupid German movie titles became. Well, at least my various tools I have installed for basic tracking tell me this. So, what could be better than build upon this success? You named it: nothing.

Hence, without much further ado I bring you a new part giving you some new stupid German movie titles. Because the ones I already posted are by far not the only ones.

  1. Original Title: The Thing
    Original Title in German: Das Ding
    German Title: Das Ding aus einer anderen Welt
    German Title in English: The thing from another world
    Comment: Well, it seems that The Thing in German was not good enough. It seems that the studios thought about giving more information about things (no pun intended) we already knew. Sigh.
    The Thing Image
  2. Original Title: Weird Science
    Original Title in German: Komische Wissenschaft
    German Title: L.I.S.A. – Der helle Wahnsinn
    German Title in English: L.I.S.A. – Sheer lunacy (rough translation)
    Comment: Oh why. OH WHY? Weird Science is a great title for a movie. But for some reason I can’t comprehend why they chose this one. It seems David Hasselhoff has to visit those guys and punch their weird science out of their minds.
    Weird Science Image
  3. Original Title: Meet the Parents
    Original Title in German: Triff die Eltern
    German Title: Meine Braut, ihr Vater und ich
    German Title in English: My bride, her father and Me
    Comment: Admittedly the translation of the original title doesn’t even come close to the “cool” sound. Yet, the German version is bland and too.fricking.long.
    Meet The Parents Image
  4. Original Title: Pushing Tin
    Original Title in German: Dosenschubser (rough translation)
    German Title: Turbulenzen und andere Katastrophen
    German Title in English:
    Turbulences and other catastrophes
    Comment: That’s a title, isn’t it? Well, I watched the movie, but to declare turbulences as catastrophes is a little bit…harsh. Well, at least this title is a true catastrophe.
    Pushing Tin DVD Cover
  5. Original Title: Ruthless People
    Original Title in German: Mitleidlose Menschen
    German Title: Die unglaubliche Entführung der verrückten Mrs. Stone
    German Title in English: The incredible kidnapping of the crazy Mrs. Stone
    Comment: Yeah, those were the days, when our beloved title creators even didn’t have an idea on their own but had to rely on older ones (see: Die unglaubliche Reise in einem verrückten Flugzeug)
    Ruthless People Image
  6. Original Title: Blades of Glory
    Original Title in German: Klingen des Ruhmes
    German Title: Die Eisprinzen
    German Title in English: The Ice Princes
    Comment: I don’t know why they didn’t keep the original meaning. Perhaps they thought it would sound too…Schwarzenegger-ish. I don’t know. Well, the movie is not the best one out there, so the bad title fits to some degree. The image in this regard truly speaks for itself:
    Blades of Glory Image
  7. Original Title: The Pacifier
    Original Title in German: Der Schnuller
    German Title: Der Babynator
    German Title in English: The Babynator
    Comment
    : *shiver* Ok. This one is truly exceptional, because the translation of the English title would have lead to something really bad, too (pacifier = “tool” for babies). But whoever came up with this bad pun to THE TERMINATOR should be getting a visit from Him.
    The Pacifier Image
  8. Original Title: Accepted
    Original Title in German: Zugelassen
    German Title: S.H.I.T. – Die High School GmbH
    German Title in English: S.H.I.T. – The High School Corp.
    Comment: I watched the movie in my local theater and boy am I glad to have watched this one in English. If I would have seen the German title I really would have jumped out of the window and missed a rather good comedy.
    Accepted Image
  9. Original Title: The Man who knew too little
    Original Title in German: Der Mann, der zu wenig wusste
    German Title: Agent Null Null Nix – Bill Murray in hirnloser Mission
    German Title in English: Agent Zero Zero Nothing – Bill Murray in a brainless mission (verrrry rough translation)
    Comment
    : Ok. This one is a true crime. Any the studio who came up with this shit should be kicked down from this ball called earth. I almost never have seen such an insulting title for a good comedy as this one. The German version not only looses the pun to the Hitchcock-classic THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, but moreover they went for this shit. It really seems that the title makers thought no one would know the original movie from Hitchcock. Sad, sad world. (By the way: the Hitchcock classic has been translates faithfully)
    The Man who knew too little image
  10. Original Title: Mr. Ricco
    Original Title in German: Herr Ricco
    German Title: Was nützt dem toten Hund ein Beefsteak?
    German Title in English: What use to the dead dog is the beef steak?
    Comment: OK besides the fact of hoping I got the translation right, this one would win any contest in terms of word count difference between two languages. I triple checked this one just to be sure that I this was no joke. Well, as you can see this one is no joke.

These are some new examples of how bad a movie title can be “translated” into German. And as I stated in my last “Titles Post”, these ones are truly hard to swallow when you are a movie fan knowing the original ones.

And as you can see some of the above examples are rather young. So it seems that to this day the German Title Guys(c) don’t know what to do with the original material they get.

Well, at least they give me material I can use for this blog.

Comments

  • Hello from Germany,

    nice pages – but I’m missing a particular translation (one of my favorites):
    “Robinson Crusoe on Mars” (1964 by Byron Haskin), which translates to “Robinson Crusoe auf dem Mars” was renamed to “Notlandung im Weltraum” (English: “Crash Landing in Space”). Aarrgh – how can anyone make a crash landing in pure nowhere?

    Kind regards

    Wilfried Wittkowsky

  • Gunther Heinrich

    Thank you very much for your comment.

    Indeed, this one is also a hot participant in the most stupid movie titles club.

    Why do the marketing people always have to go for the we-make-it-seem-action-packed-so-they-will-come kind of thinking. They don’t even care when the title itself becomes so…silly?

    Sigh.

  • Jim Perry

    I would have to argue that “The Thing From Another World” is correct since it is the full title of the 1951 version. The 1982 Thing is one of my favorites, though.

    Great post.

    • Mathieu Champagne

      I thought exactly the same thing while reading it. Hat tip to your cinematic knowledge.

  • The German Title is not a problem of germany distributors ….

    The title is decided at European level. Exemple in France :

    * Weird Science (Science bizarre) = Une créature de rêve
    * The pacifier (Le pacificateur) = Baby-sittor
    * Blades of Glory (les patins de la gloire) = Les rois du patins
    * Talladega Nights (Les nuits de Talladega – Nascar -) = Ricky Bobby, roi du circuit
    * Meet the Parents (Rencontrer les parents) = Mon beau-père et moi
    * Dodge Ball (Balle au prisonnier) = Même pas mal
    * The 40 Year Old Virgin (Le vierge de 40 ans) = 40 ans, toujours puceau

    I can give you a long list of examples ….

    • Gunther Heinrich

      Some titles might get this treatment but it’s far from a situation where everything gets decided on a European Level (and then translated 1:1), simply because of the fact that the cultural difference between the member states are too big.

      Take ‘The 40 year old virgin’ as an example. The title in France is ’40 ans, toujours puceau’ which I’d roughly translate to ’40 years, virgin forever’. The German title, though, is ‘Jungfrau (40), männlich, sucht’ which translates to ‘Virgin (age 40), male, searches’. And this is a phrase you find in many German lonely hearts ads. Dodge Ball, by the way, has the German title ‘Voll auf die Nüsse’. That’s a typical vulgar German phrase for a situation where a guy gets badly hit in his private zone. I don’t see that in the French title.

  • hasi54

    another example:

    Tru Calling – Schicksal Reloaded!
    (TV series)

    • Gunther Heinrich

      Thanks for this truly ridiculous title.

  • Frank

    I got another one: “Season of the Witch” – “Der letzte Tempelritter” (The last Templar)

    Not only does the german title shifts the focus away from the witch, but in the whole movie there is not ONE scene supporting this “last” templar thing. Hell, the fact that Nic Cage is/was a Knight of the Temple is not even that big of deal for the context.

  • You can do it and everything lies in the relationship as well as the logic together. What you are experiencing real and recognizable.

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